Monday, July 12, 2010

Cloth - The Essence of Fabrication

Star reporter Rob O’Dell has a follow up piece regarding Dr. Heywood Sanders' criticism of the HVS template for greasing the approval of publicly funded construction projects, in this case Tucson’s downtown convention hotel. The HVS report can’t even get basic math straight. For me, this evokes déjà vu all over again, images of obese egos hoisting mountains of nonsense about positioning regional attributes and leveraging community assets. They made a yellow streak. They had a shin dig at the Fox about a blueprint.

I was called into a meeting where highly paid people with serious voices asked me to prepare to train hundreds, perhaps thousands, of technical workers as the TDRI "ramped up" production of products not yet designed. PCC spoke of aggressive recruitment of students to be trained as technicians for "impossible to saturate" positions. Nothing happened, and the Cloth was not so easy to see in the training context. It took awhile for me to get that nothing was ever going to happen.

The current hotel conversation exposes what I have been discussing for years, but not by the numbers or the logic of the arguments per se. What exposes it are the attitudes, in particular the attitude of the Mayor regarding the downtown hotel, the desire to "shorten the presentation," the repulsion towards the facts, the disdain for the reality of the situation. Do you see it?

That’s the Cloth.

The Cloth IS the charade, the circus, the act, the façade where a chosen set of characters gets to wear a tie, draw ludicrous salaries, and pleasure itself. It is TREO’s trip to Austin, Portland, Sweden, Madagascar, Sydney, or their announcement of a local business expansion as if they were involved. It is the ballpark on Kino that will become the spring training center of the southwest. Attend a meeting at the Chamber (seriously, go to one). It is the downtown hotel.

Barring changes, which now might actually happen, here’s how it works. The hotel will be built but changes and mishaps will send the cost to $340M. Sloppy Rio Nuevo accounting will hide this and its continuing losses for awhile. When the $50K/mo taxpayer subsidy is discovered, the suits will present a strategic plan for profitable operations based upon increased revenue projections due to tourism generated by the trolley car. We may not be at 70% occupancy at $165/room, but we will be. In fact, we will be at 90% at $245/room.



Blogger Cigar Man said...

When I think you have already made it as clear as it can get, you make it even clearer. Yes, the Mayor is not interested in any of those financials. The hotel is NOT about making a good investment or generating money.

I had forgotten all about the TDRI.
You MUST go to the following link.

The AINS Training Grant is EXACTLY what x4mr has been talking about.

This project provided activities for over 1100 students to enhance the minority, particularly Native American, high school and college-age students' interest in pursuing science, mathematics, and engineering associate, bachelor, and advanced degrees through outreach and recruitment activities, scholarships for summer academies and learning academies, support services such as tutoring, and student externships with the University of Southern California's Biomimetric MicroElectronic Systems Engineering Research Center.

Everything at that web page is a complete fabrication - pure Cloth. Nothing happened.

7/12/2010 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'Dell and x4mr only hint at it, but Cigar Man is spot on and hits the nail on the head. The hotel is not about its rate of return or profitability at all. That has nothing to do with it. They want a shiny new hotel because they want a shiny new hotel because it looks cool and gives them the sense of accomplishment they seek. They don't care what it costs the taxpayers.

Cigar Man, that web page being a complete fabrication is pretty amazing. It is astounding that people can take money and just make shit up. I had heard about PCC pocketing training funds and then not bothering to train anyone. Disgusting.

7/12/2010 11:07 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Wow, this is great. I get now at a deeper level what x4mr has been saying for years.

The cloth is a lie, a show.

In reality, the Mayor does not care whether the hotel meets the financial forecasts. TREO, etc. does not care whether good paying jobs come to Tucson. They're like movie stars, getting paid huge money to put on a good show.

I can really see now how x4mr must have been going crazy as the SAIAT director, producing real training and real wage increases, etc., and to his shock, being universally despised and attacked. Was Cigar Man right or what?

I do remember that Sally Fernandez thing with AINS. It fell apart. Does that web report mean they actually claimed to have done something? Unbelievable.

If it weren't for Kozachik, the city council wouldn't even know what was in the HVS forecast BECAUSE THEY DON'T CARE!! Like anon said, they want to build one because they want something pretty and shiny and sound bitey because they know most voters will never hear about its being a money pit.

7/12/2010 12:44 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

It does take awhile to see it, because they talk such a good game. I remember that huge hullabaloo where all these remote controlled planes/helicopters flew around way out west and then we had a huge party at Sally's house.

I had JUST become the director, so I believed everything. I was blown away and very jazzed, thinking I'd finally made it into the group that really made things happen. The list of things that were going to happen in Tucson was just incredible, as was the food.

I remember thinking I had really "arrived" because SAIAT was so positioned to do so much for all of these great companies that would be blossoming, hiring, and training.

That was summer 2003. I was SO GREEN. The controller's financials were completely unreadable. Then they gutted our funding. We lost $360,000 in one year. In 10/04, we were three people, but finally solvent. A month or two later I met Cigar, who said, "You're dead anyway."

By then it was clear that all these great companies they were talking about did not exist and were not coming. Then they suggested I move to the Tech Park where "lots of companies" needed training.


7/12/2010 5:35 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I can imagine a million dollars or so for a bunch of clowns pretending to do economic development. I can get a dysfunctional set of downtown cheerleaders with about the same budget. I imagine there are quite a few towns with worthless economic development snakes.

That said, I find it unbelievable and utterly amazing that Tucson is completely effed up about an effort involving HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS!!

Rio Nuevo is 400 TREO's. Rio Nuevo is 2000 SAIAT's. Rio Nuevo is a vast fortune, and the program is still a ridiculous cloth infested farce.

This is not only infuriating. It is embarrassing, and now more than ever we can see that it has a lot to do with liars and lying to pursue undisclosed agendas serving the interests of the characters involved and NOT the community.

7/12/2010 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Hey x4mr, just thought I'd let you know that the Poco guy shut his blog down. He even deleted all of his postings. It just has one simple page with something about fixing his roof for the monsoons.

I guess he lost interest when the community didn't overwhelm him with fame and fortune for writing such useful, interesting material.

I bet you and Rob O'Dell are just devastated.

7/13/2010 1:23 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Though not frequently, I did visit his place every few days or so. I saw that he had shut it down.

I actually enjoyed a couple of his entries, one about the Mayor declaring "prayer day" for Tucson businesses comes to mind. I broke out laughing.

He openly wrote about financial duress and asked for donations, suggesting he didn't have sufficient employment. I cannot imagine that he thought his blog would make money or lead to something that makes money, but perhaps he did.

Hopefully he's found a job with a livable wage. If he is still looking, he was wise to delete his site, because potential employers are likely to search on his name for possible issues, and in my opinion some of his content would give an employer pause.

7/13/2010 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not only infuriating. It is embarrassing, and now more than ever we can see that it has a lot to do with liars and lying to pursue undisclosed agendas serving the interests of the characters involved and NOT the community.

Yes, Nav. That is the cloth. Tucson has a set of liars that fabricate a facade so they can pursue their own self-serving agenda.

7/13/2010 9:27 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

Regarding Poco, I think you are too kind, x4mr. Without the slightest cause or provocation, that asshole slimed you twice with nonsense he completely made up without any effort to be accurate or truthful.

As someone here said, he's a kook. Think about it. What kind of clueless thinks a blog like that will earn money? Who is going to donate? Who? The notion fails remedial common sense 055A for the severely common sense challenged. The guy is almost 40, and he still doesn't get what he isn't, let alone what he is.

7/14/2010 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

he still doesn't get what he isn't, let alone what he is.

Don't hold back, Nav. Dang - that's almost deep.

7/14/2010 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

I believe that downtown Tucson needs a convention hotel. When I worked at the University of Arizona, our department on the medical campus sponsored *many* conferences in Tucson. The largest one (600 doctors per year) was eventually moved to Phoenix because the organizers could no longer stomach they complaints about Tucson's lack of a decent hotel downtown. That was 15 years ago!!!

That said, I also agree that this hotel proposal is not a good financial deal for the residents of Tucson.

7/20/2010 1:03 PM  

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